Dear Ann

“Dear Ann” follows Penny (7) and her great-grandma, Nana (80) as their relationship is tested when she asks Nana “Is you White?” Penny and her family communicate with tough love, a consequence of growing up in the still segregated North Carolina of the late 1980’s. Penny hopes the “Dear Ann” advice column will assist her as she navigates difficult questions. How do home, family, and the construct of race...
“Dear Ann” follows Penny (7) and her great-grandma, Nana (80) as their relationship is tested when she asks Nana “Is you White?” Penny and her family communicate with tough love, a consequence of growing up in the still segregated North Carolina of the late 1980’s. Penny hopes the “Dear Ann” advice column will assist her as she navigates difficult questions. How do home, family, and the construct of race influence us? What weight does Nana carry when her place is questioned inside and outside of her home? “Dear Ann” gives a peek inside a everyday lives of a Black Southern family as they navigate betrayal, absence while showing how their bond of blood is tested.
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Dear Ann

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  • Premiere Stages at Kean University:
    3 Mar. 2020
    Premiere Stages, the professional Equity theatre in residence at Kean University, is pleased to recognize “Dear Ann” by Nikki Brake-Silla as a semifinalist for the 2020 Premiere Play Festival. “Dear Ann” rose through a competitive selection process conducted by Premiere staff and a panel of outside theatre professionals to become one of 26 semifinalists out of 939 submissions. The panel was particularly impressed by the play’s compelling language and complex family dynamics, which authentically reveal the characters’ experiences in relation to race and age and gender. Our congratulations and thanks to Nikki.

Character Information

  • Twitch
    25,
    Black
    ,
    Male
    Black man, life of the party, always good for a story, lacks follow through
  • Rocky
    4,
    Black
    ,
    Female
    Black girl, innocence fully intact with a naïveté that makes one forget how ugly the world can be
  • Penny
    7,
    Black
    ,
    Female
    Black, girl, precocious, highly intelligent child whose sun is her Nana
  • Nana
    80,
    Black, very fairskinned
    ,
    Female
    very fair skinned, Black woman, clear features to Black folks but White folks only see her as one of them.
  • Julia
    60,
    White
    ,
    Female
    white woman, low rent Jackie O.
  • Grandma
    54,
    Black
    ,
    Female
    Black woman, second in command matriarch, recently retired
  • Ducky
    28,
    Black
    ,
    Female
    Black woman, weight of the world on her shoulders, constantly running from one place to the next

Development History

  • Residency
    ,
    The Mitten Lab Residency
    ,
    2019

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
Premiere Play Festival
,
Premiere Stages at Kean University
,
2020